Nunavut’s second beer and wine store to open within a year
Announcement comes almost three years after Rankin Inlet voted “yes” in a plebiscite
After a long multi-year process, Rankin Inlet is set to become the next community in Nunavut with a beer and wine store.
Finance Minister George Hickes confirmed as much during the first day of the winter sitting of the territory’s legislature, on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
Cathy Towtongie, MLA for Rankin Inlet North–Chesterfield Inlet, asked Hickes, who is also responsible for the Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission: “Does the government plan to open a beer and wine store in the community of Rankin Inlet within the next 12 months, yes or no?”
“Yes,” replied Hickes.
It’s been nearly three years since Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay both voted “yes” to beer and wine stores in non-binding plebiscites.
Later that year Iqaluit’s beer and wine store, a pilot project requested by the city, opened amid both fanfare and skepticism.
As her final followup question on the subject, Towtongie asked Hickes what specific lessons have been learned from that project.
While Hickes didn’t answer the question specifically, he did take the opportunity to tout his department’s newly created survey that asks Nunavummiut for their feedback on Iqaluit’s store, which will allow his department to complete its analysis.
At the same time, Hickes did acknowledge that the import of hard spirits has dropped “dramatically,” which was one of the objectives when opening the beer and wine store.
While the city asked that the store in Iqaluit be a pilot project, the store in Rankin Inlet will not bear that same “pilot” distinction.